Thing To Know Before You Decide To Become A Wedding Photographer!
Reason to Decide Upon Picking Up a Career as A Wedding Photographer Can Be Monetary or Due to Passion, Rather Good to Be Both But Being Crystal Clear About Your Reason of Interest is The Key to Success in This Industry. Before Setting Up a goal to pick a career as a wedding photographer it’s highly essential to know certain aspects of the Wedding Photography Industry and to Test Yourself on Certain Aspects.
It’s better to follow the below-mentioned guidelines which many wishes would have followed before investing their time and money both and than questioning themselves later if this niche was really their passion?
1. Explore As A Beginner – Before even deciding or finalizing the thought to become a wedding photographer and take it as a full-time career goal, it’s really very important to explore every niche of basic photography.
Let’s say you have just passed out of your school or college and have a very strong desire to start up your career as a wedding photographer but before deciding upon taking a formal degree or course and spending a lot on the certifications from any college or institute to become a wedding photographer. Just start with a basic understanding of photography as a whole.
You can simply start exploring some free beginner tutorials from youtube, even if you do not own an expensive camera or lenses at this moment you can just start by spending some time daily by listening to the tutorials and just let things sink in for few days.
Now, once you’ve got some understanding go through the tutorial on types of photography, including wedding photography basic tutorials as well.
Taking a decision to become a wedding photographer is not just deciding it in your mind but it’s like a sea until you dive in you do not have an idea about its depth and the preparation it needs for survival in long term.
So, just take it easy and just keep on practicing other niches as well that way you will get hands-on practice on your camera and knowledge of gears too.
2. Pick a Small Niche to Practice – Let Me Give You a Practical Assignment Here. If you own a basic camera and lens or even a phone and once you have learned a little bit about the basics of photography.
Pick a very small targeted niche. Let’s say “Street Photography” Now pick daily morning hours or on your favorite Sunday morning and go to your nearest street and implement all the basic understanding you have gained till now from the free youtube photography tutorials.
Why I have picked Street Photography as your first niche to practice is because the subject over there is not in your control, their movement, the lighting conditions are not something you can control and in my experience if you want to become a wedding photographer you will have the same issues.
The subjects and back to back events and ceremonies happening during the wedding will not be in your control to take the repetitive shots until you get the perfect one, one miss of the moment and you have missed that perfect moment of someone’s memory for a lifetime.
3. Free Pre Wedding Photography Projects – Now Let’s assume you have been practicing all kinds of photography on your own. It’s the right time to start approaching your close friends or colleges you think would be planning to get engaged or married soon.
Time for you to show your work (doesn’t matter if your work is not related to wedding photography rite now) you just have to show them that you are passionate about photography and want to now practice some pre-wedding photography portraits.
Explain to them that there is no loss for them in doing this, in fact, I am 100% sure anybody would love to take a free service like this, even if one photograph turns out well it would just add on so much to their memories for a lifetime.
Once you have convinced them, it’s time for you to go back to your 1st step and pick up some good tutorials from youtube on a couple of wedding posing ideas, couple pre-wedding posing ideas, how to capture wedding moments from your mobile from or from whichever camera and lens you have.
Sharing An Image Below from My First Pre Wedding Photoshoot I Planned the Same Way About 7 Years Ago, Still, helps me get some highly paid pre-wedding projects.
Note: I insist you take pre-wedding projects in the beginning because you have a lot of scopes to retake your pictures and experiment a lot with the couple posing until you get your best shots.
Also, you can choose the lighting conditions and locations accordingly and ask the couple the move around as per your creative ideas.
Whereas if you start taking up the responsibility of doing a photoshoot for your friends at their wedding, it’s a big risk on your shoulders because you will not have the freedom I just mentioned if you will practice and begin with some pre-wedding projects.
Once, you have gained confidence with 5-6 pre-wedding projects, you can start by assisting the main photographers covering the wedding and observe their experience and skills in 2-3 weddings.
how they work, what challenges they face, what angles they choose etc.
Then implement and experiment the same in few close weddings you are invited to but without disturbing the main team the couple has hired as professional photographers they have hired so that you do not become a reason and excuse for them not able to capture some moments during the wedding ceremony.
Preparation Checklist– Once you have done this homework make a small checklist and notes you should discuss with your subject. the wedding couple.
- Location ( A farmhouse or private outdoor space)
- Dresses they prefer to wear – make sure you have an idea about the colors of their dresses to plan your pictures accordingly.
- Advice to the bride to wear subtle makeup so that you don’t have to get stuck in editing the skin texture at this stage
- Choose morning golden hours or evening time just an hour or two before the sunset.
There are a lot of checkpoints that a wedding photographer should take care of and plan properly before the pre-wedding or wedding photoshoot which I am going to cover in detail in my next coming posts. but for now, in the beginning, these are enough to start with.
4. Set a Time Limit – Make sure you do not exceed the photoshoot more than 3-4 hours in the beginning because first, you should plan your 10 shots in advance you need not run for more and keep clicking back to back and you will set unnecessary expectations of the couple whom you are doing a favor to and they will keep on asking for more pictures than agreed because definitely, they have sensed your desperation during their pre-wedding photoshoot.
Also, To make use of the proper available light during those perfect timing of natural available light you will have to wrap up before the sun gets too harsh or before it gets too dark in the evening time. so make sure to capture what you have pre-planned in a given time.
It’s very essential to be very patient for taking the proper time to set your camera settings, choosing the perfect spot to take a particular couple pose and to retake the same shot if necessary. once you get that perfect shot time to move to the next one.
Another reason to finish your pre-wedding photoshoot in time is that you should ensure to give some break to the wedding couple because it’s not just you but they will get exhausted equally.
So to start up fresh, 5-10 mins rest for the couple is extremely necessary.
In the meanwhile you will get time too to go through the pre-wedding pictures you have clicked so far and recall and see if you have made some mistakes or missed something.
Better to improvise on that after the break explaining the couple frankly that they should give the same pose again and bet they would not mind after this short romantic break they had.
5. Picture Delivery Time – If you know that you will complete the editing of these pictures in a week give 2 weeks’ time to the couple. This is because you should always keep a buffer for yourself if in case you missed out on the timeline for editing the pictures, you still don’t face the pressure of them demanding the pictures because their level of excitement will be extremely high than yours to see the outcome.
It’s important that at the beginning of these wedding photoshoots where you are practicing you don’t have to deal with any kind of client’s pressure. That’s definitely going to come in later part of your career if you really decide on taking up the career as a wedding photographer.
As of now, Just focus all your energy and creativity on learning and working with a free creative mind. The more relaxed you are at this early stage of your career in photography the more creative ideas and energy to implement you are going to have.
6. Basics of Wedding Photography Editing – Post-processing is an equally important part of anyone’s learning on the path of becoming a successful wedding photographer and for picking up a career in this industry of wedding photography both on camera and off camera post-processing learning is important.
Again, at this stage, you can easily learn the basic editing skills to edit the wedding and pre-wedding pictures through youtube tutorials.
Lightroom is the best to start with but I always preferred Adobe Photoshop basic editing to start with because it allows you to work so much on improving the details of the skin retouching and color corrections.
Yes! It’s really good if you already know the basics of editing in photoshop which you should have as your homework while doing the preparation before your practice photoshoot with the couple and you have the DSLR which has an option to take pictures in RAW (Picture format).
However, I really suggest you take pictures in JPEG (Compressed Picture Format) at this stage of learning till you have done at least 2-3 practice wedding photoshoots of your friends and in the family which will allow you to use other free and low-cost photo editing applications easily to start with basic color corrections if you do not want to buy the adobe photoshop or adobe lightroom license in the beginning.
No wonder you will have to purchase it at some stage for any kind of picture editing and for any career you choose to pick in this industry of photography and not just for wedding photography.
Conclusion – Believe me once you are done with your 5-10 free pre-wedding and wedding projects you will have a really good understanding and clarity in your mind if you really love to continue with the thought of taking up wedding photography as your career in the future or not.
Not just this but you will not at all regret following these steps practically and implementing this hard work because by this time even if you choose not to choose wedding photography as a full-time career you are so much prepared and learned a lot to implement this journey in other niches of photography.
Ultimately after 6 months of practice or in a year, you will be crystal clear about the depth of the water in this sea of the wedding photography industry and you will be able to decide clearly why you want to become a wedding photographer or why not.
Hope, This Article helps the aspiring generation and avoid wasting a lot of time in just deciding what type of photography is suitable for them and which is not sooner in the starting stage of their career.
My Motive is to help and serve the community to skip the time I wasted and learned all this with my own practical experience after a lot of trial and error.